October 11, 2006 at 7:01 pm #18554
I have some hindrance with the overall concept of inner smile. Picturing a smile, forcing oneself to smile, doesn’t sound ‘taoish’ to me. It’s not natural. Natural is, to me, to be in contact to ‘that which is’. Not pushing, nor pulling.
I read Michael Winn’s ebook, but it didn’t ring a bell. My feeling is that, to be truly taoist, I should skip the practice at all.
s-October 11, 2006 at 7:59 pm #18555
I believe there are two ways to access the inner smile – the yin and the yang way. The yin way is to dissolve any tension that gets it the way of a smile emerging from within. The yang way is to radiate like the sun by connecting with that part of human experience in yourself that is strong and radiant. Both ways work well. Try them both and see which one fits. A smile is a naturally occuring response to resting in awareness of the infinite. Some part of you already knows this, so you can employ these approaches without manufacturing anything. The yang method goes directly for the experience, while the yin method lets it emerge. I use both and find this simple practices profound.October 11, 2006 at 7:59 pm #18557
1.Did you ever see the ‘smiling’ face when a baby has eaten and has a nice full tummy?
That is exactly what is meant with the ‘smile’, it is a natural REFLEX coming from happy – energized intestines and organs. Yet you can use it the other way around, connecting with your tummy through a gentle inwardly smile energizing the organs.
Simple; effective and absolutely natural. Very much in the moment IF your tummy is satisfied 🙂
2. Smiling to oneself can be a most difficult thing to do if there is no self-love or self- appreciation, then it becomes a struggle and a real exercise.
I taught many people the inner smile and in a group of 30 people only 10 actually smile, the other 20 THINK they are smiling or just can’t do it! Too much resistance… unhappy tummies 🙁October 11, 2006 at 10:38 pm #18559
I would recommend trying a Audio of a Smiling presence practice; either from here or elsewhere there are many versions these days for purchase. Creating smiling presence(innersmile) is really a very natural process, it’s not about force but more about creating presence or setting up a portal do go deeper through what I like to call “Smiling presence”. When you smile “softly” you learn to release and let go.
Many have learned to peel the layers of resistance off by using this process, I seen a smoker quit with days, relationships healed and people reconnect with their true nature. It really is very popular practice now a days, I ran across a Buddhist who uses it in their temple which I will post later if interested.
Some these practices are not for everyone, try a audio give it 30 days of practice see if there is any difference…I don’t think you will be disappointed.
A very fair question…SnowlionOctober 11, 2006 at 10:41 pm #18561
I like what Steve and Wendy both have said above me.
What I would like to add is the “spatial” idea that “smiling” actually means allowing some space to develop around whatever is going on inside you at the time. When you sit and don’t want to smile you can take a small step backwards inside yourself and embrace the aspect of yourself that does not want to smile. THAT is smiling to yourself. The acceptance, the opening up, the surrender to…find the words that fit here for you…is the action to take to cause the benefits of the smile to happen. It is compassion, patience and any other quality you recognize as the bigger you coming into the space with you. By doing this you are actually shifting from identifying with your resistance to identifying with your being.
The essence of the smile is unconditional love, and that is the thing we most want and are most afraid of, whether we admit it or not. To accept unconditional love is threatening to the parts of our egos which feel strongly about staying in control and which are afraid of their death. Also, and most importantly, we fear feeling the guilt we have inside. The actual personality makeup of all of us is based on maintaining the defensive structure which we created in our early years in order to survive because at that age we are very new and vulnerable. We make up a lot of conclusions about how the world is and who we are supposed to be in it at that time, and if we do not transmute these things they rule our possibilities in life. So it is important to understand that we created those structures to last a lifetime and that it takes real commitment to transmute them in favor of our biggerness and freedom.
So a simple thing like smiling becomes a really big deal. And that is why it is most powerful.
As far as skipping the practice, it will not be possible for you to do this and get anywhere. The inner smile is inherent in your being and since that is what you are cultivating when you do any of these practices you will eventually relax your hold on yourSelf and let go and smile. It is what the Heart does.
So give yourself some space and see what happens.
Smilingly, AlexanderOctober 12, 2006 at 6:36 pm #18563
Thanks to all 🙂
I found that smiling to the lower jaw greatly improves the mood.
I’m not still being returned the smile from the organs, but I keep doing the smile 🙂October 16, 2006 at 10:22 am #18565
Yes, same here…
the big issue I see is that some people think of the inner smile as TOTALLY disconnected from an outer smile, a sort of internal medicine that feels like smiling and medicates all the transmitters and organs of the body and relaxes you..
this is probably as good as it feels..
However some people turn it into a normal smile and act like you should always be smiling and getting along with people..
this I do not think is realistic and messes up the whole practice. I think it is glandular medicineOctober 22, 2006 at 5:36 pm #18567
What I’m discovering, is that the inner smile breaks the mechanism of self-feeding of negative emotion. That is, when we are worried, we add to worry the worry of being worried 🙂 That is, to be not able to cope with society (nobody wants to deal with a worried person). Or we might be unhappy because we are worried, or sad because we are sad. Making the innersmile breaks this addition, and leaves the primary emotion alone, thus extinguishing after some qty of time.
My 2 cents 🙂
Anyway, I’m worried because smiling to the left rib cage soothes anger. Isn’s liver on the right? 🙂December 17, 2006 at 7:55 am #18569
Well, I am a new member here but I thought I would add in a comment even though the moment at which it would have been most pertinent to this discussion has past (once).
I haven’t read Michael’s e-book yet but I have downloaded it – just trying out the forum for the first time!
So, question one: is Taoist practice necessarily Taoist – that is to say, ‘natural’? My answer to this would be, quite simply, to forget the “Taoist” part and concentrate upon the ‘practice, asking oneself: “Is it practical”?
Arguably, one can never “be” a Taoist but can only ever embrace Taoism as a ‘becoming’; and so that particular question must be left for those with a penchant for infinite discussions, I think.
The question then becomes: is the “Inner Smile” practice, well, practical?
My own experience with this would have me answer with an unhesitating “YES”!!! I would also SOMEWHAT agree with sly’s above observation by noting that, while I began my practice with the prescribed “Smiling Energy”, I now (I must admit) practice bathing my internal organs with whatever refined energies seem appropriate: from a nice big pine tree, for example.
So, while one certainly can not go wrong in starting this meditation with the positive energy of a heart-felt smile, I think that it can certainly become something else once one has attained a certain degree of proficiency and understanding. One might, for example, draw upon the teachings of the classical “Golden Flower Meditation” (I would recommend the Thomas Cleary translation) and cultivate a sense of restfully open, alert awareness.
So for myself, I think that, above all else, the “Inner Smile” meditation serves as a way to expand the advancements which one can attain through the Microcosmic Orbit meditation into something which begins to include the entire body. As such a practice, it is VERY practical!
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